This weekend history flies into Wheeling when The Collings Foundation “Wings of Freedom Tour” lands at Chicago Executive Airport.
The Collings Foundation is a non-profit, Educational Foundation (501c-3), founded in 1979. The purpose of the Foundation is to organize and support “living history” events that enable Americans to learn more about their heritage through direct participation The “Wings of Freedom Tour” showcases two fully restored heavy bomber aircraft: a B-24 Liberator and B-17 Flying Fortress. The newest addition to the Wings of Freedom Tour is a WWII P-51C Mustang dual-control fighter aircraft.
From the foundation:
The “Wings of Freedom Tour” has two goals: to honor the sacrifices made by our veterans that allow us to enjoy our freedom; and to educate the visitors, especially younger Americans, about our national history and heritage. The Foundation encourages people to tour the planes, talk to the veterans who come to visit the aircraft, and participate in a “flight experience”. In twenty-one years, the tour has made more than 2,378 visits to airports across the United States and Alaska. While the exact number of visitors is difficult to gauge, it is estimated that between 3 and 4 million people see these warbirds annually.
If you have a history buff in your house or an airplane loving child it’s worth making time in your weekend to check this out. The Chicago Executive Airport (formerly Palwaukee) is always available for observing small planes take flight from their observation area. This weekend in addition to seeing those planes you will be able to get up close and personal with The Collings Foundation B-176 Fortress, B-24J Liberator and a P-51C Mustang. The B-24 is the last of it’s kind still flying in the world, so this is really a once in a lifetime experience!
Admission for guided tours of the planes is $12 for adults and $6 for children under 12
The hours over the course of the weekend are:
- Friday, July 27, from 2 to 5 p.m.
- Saturday, July 28, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- Sunday, July 29, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- Monday, July 30, from 10 a.m. to noon
The planes will be on display on the east side of the airport off Milwaukee Avenue.
Flight experiences are also available for significantly more money. Please see The Collings Foundation Wings of Freedom Tour for more information on the airplanes, flights, and tours.
All images courtesy of and use with permission by The Collings Foundation.